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60th Anniversary Year Appeal Launch

10 February 2017

Age UK West Sussex launches its 60th Appeal with charity bracelets during International Friendship Week, taking place from 19th - 25th February.



Help to combat loneliness by supporting Age UK West Sussex 60th Anniversary Appeal.


Age UK West Sussex is launching a 60th Anniversary appeal, to raise £100,000 and fund vital services for lonely, older people across the county.


The appeal is being supported by West Sussex County Council Chairman, Pat Arculus, and aims to bring local people together to fundraise and heighten awareness about loneliness.


Millions of people in the UK face the ups and downs of everyday life almost entirely alone and in West Sussex nearly 19,000 older people are at serious risk of isolation.


Pat said: “I am delighted to support the Age UK West Sussex challenge in its 60th Anniversary year. It’s so nice to see an independent charity thrive having been supported for 60 years by the county council and we are still working in partnership today on these important issues.”


In its 60th anniversary year we are asking more people to get involved. Whether you cycle, run trek, volunteer there are plenty of ways to fundraise and volunteer.


To mark the occasion we have created some colourful, friendship bracelets due to be launched at our centres and other outlets during International Friendship Week, from 19 – 25th February. The money from each bracelet sold will be help to support services for older people who feel lonely and isolated.


A variety of events and activities later in the year will support our appeal including a during June and July. We are encouraging everyone to get together and have fun at our activity centres across the area. Our communities will be holding picnics and parties to raise funds and celebrate friendship and help combat loneliness.


In a recent survey conducted by Age UK figures reveal that 1.9 million of those aged 65 and over often feel ignored or invisible, with 1.4 million feeling cut off from society and a third – 3.6 million – agreeing that the television is their main form of company.

It is often life events such as bereavement, ill health and complex long term health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis – all more common in later life – that give rise to feelings of loneliness and which if left unaddressed can cause long-term misery.


To make matters worse, chronic loneliness can also have serious health consequences, contributing to the development of serious medical conditions, such as heart problems and strokes, mental health issues and dementia.


Chief Executive of Age UK West Sussex, Diane Henderson commented: “In an increasingly complex world, keeping friends and making new ones becomes more difficult as we get older. We hope in our next 60 years we can encourage people in later life to stay connected.”


LONELINESS IN WEST SUSSEX - personal stories


There are many triggers for loneliness in later life, but relatively simple solutions are often the most effective, as this case study demonstrates:


Maureen’s experience 

Our Burgess Hill Cherry Tree Centre has been a lifeline for Maureen, who runs flower arranging classes on Thursdays with Myrtle. It was Myrtle

who introduced Maureen to the centre over 4 years ago after she lost her husband. Maureen, who was in remission from cancer, said that life had been tricky and she felt quite alone. Since then, the two of them have built up a successful flower arranging class at the Cherry Tree Centre, which is enjoyed by many. Maureen said: The centre has been a lifeline to me and I am delighted that Myrtle introduced me.


Sandra’s story

A writing group in Littlehampton has been a great source of inspiration and support for Sandra. She said: “I had been ill for sometime and being stuck at home had left me very shaky and isolated. Everything was a tremendous effort and my confidence was low. I had always wanted to learn to write… I’ve gone on to learn to use the computer and have written many poems and stories.”


For information about fundraising for our 60th Anniversary Appeal please call 01903 731800 or visit

Information for editors:
Media Contact Further details about case studies in your area please contact Vicki Rayment on 07904 570812. or  Images are available on request.


The history of our organisation  

Age Concern West Sussex was founded in 1957 by West Sussex County Council with staff seconded by the Council to manage its affairs. In 1972, the organisation changed its name from West Sussex Association of Elderly People to Age Concern West Sussex, and in 1980 the organisation first employed staff independently of the Council. In April 2010 we changed our name to Age UK West Sussex (AWS).


Over its long history, AWS has moved from a focus on ‘welfare’ to developing a role in the policy and planning of services for older people across the county. Our core staff has grown from several part-time volunteers to a large team of paid and volunteer staff.

AWS is an independent charity and a member of the Age England Association. We are a Brand partner with Age UK. AWS is financially supported by West Sussex County Council, NHS West Sussex, Arun, Crawley and Mid Sussex District Councils. Other funding is made up of project grants, donations and legacies and commission from the sale of our insurance products. We are developing cost effective paid for services too.


AWS is managed by a Board of Trustees; members are elected for three year terms. The Board meets every 2 months. Trustees delegate the day-to-day management of the organisation to the Chief Executive.


Our organisation today

Age UK West Sussex provides services and support to anyone in later life throughout West Sussex. In addition to the county-wide Information and Advice service there are clubs and centres offering activities for fun, friendship, food and health in Crawley, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Littlehampton, Bognor and Adur areas. There are also Home from Hospital, Relative Support, Take Home and Settle and Help at Home services available. For further information about our services please call 01903 731800.

More information about Age UK West Sussex as an organisation is available from Vicki Rayment as above or via the charity’s head office in Littlehampton by emailing or via the website